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  • plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

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    Old 05-24-2012, 06:14 PM   #1
    luckylew
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    plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

    I had acdf c-5-6, 6-7 surgery Dec. 09 and have problems with swallowing and the feeling of pressure in my throat. I need to make a decission soon as to the removal of the plate and screws. I'm scheduled to see a nurosurgeon for a consultation next month. Having another surgery worries me especially since my Ap says the surgeon I'm seeing has only removed the plate from three patients and two of the three did not see an improvement. Any advice or first hand experience would be appreciated. Just so you know this is an L & I case (work injury) and it is very important for me to make the right decission, and I must do it soon!

     
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    Old 05-24-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
    NJ Ldy
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    Re: plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

    I had ACDF C4-C7 in 2006. In 2009 I had to have another ACDF and at the time, my neuro removed the original plate and screws. I didn't have any swallowing issues or any issues at all, he just removed it because the area was completely fused and he figured while he was in there, he would remove it. I didn't have any issues before or after the plate and screws were removed, so I don't know what your outcome would be.

    Good luck to you.

     
    Old 05-24-2012, 08:20 PM   #3
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    Re: plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

    I haven't had any surgery, so can't give advice. But I wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and you're in the right place for some good advice. Best of luck.... Kenzi.

     
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    Old 05-24-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
    luckylew
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    Re: plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

    Thanks for the info. I'm glad you didn't have any issues with the plate. I'm curious did they put in a new plate when you had your second surgery? In my case the plan is to remove it without adding another one. Since this is all new to me and the lack of my Dr.'s experience it's a hard decission for me. My original surgeon refuses to remove it and says it's a high risk surgery.

     
    Old 05-29-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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    Re: plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

    Have you had a new MRI or other imaging recently to see the status of your plate and other structures to see if the plate is causing the issues you are experiencing? It has only been 6 months if I read that correctly since your surgery. How severe are your swallowing issues and other symptoms? After my ACDF at C5-6 I had a tightness and minor swallowing issues for many months after surgery and still occasionally feel a fullness in the area when swallowing certain things like pills etc. It may be from the plate or changes in the throat itself from changes in the bone, muscle tightness, scar tissue, etc. I would definitely want to carefully consider the outcomes of having another surgery if your symptoms aren't very severe as major surgery can have more complications than the original symptoms. In my case, I would have been very disappointed to have had a plate removed 6 months after surgery just to learn that one year after surgery the next level down had herniated and another level was slipping, etc. If you are tolerating the symptoms well enough, you may wish to give it time to continue healing to see if the symptoms subside. And as the case often seems to be, make sure other levels don't have any issues and you find yourself back in surgery regardless to correct hose.

     
    Old 05-29-2012, 06:40 PM   #6
    luckylew
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    Re: plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. My surgery was Dec. 09 which is almost 2 1/2 years ago. The MRI shows the plate is fixed and stable. shortly after my surgery I started having swallowing problems and the feeling of preassure in my throat. I then had a modified barrium swallowing test which showed the metal is slightly dissplacing my esophagus and I have to swallow twice to get liquid down. I also had an endoscopy with dilation which did not help. If your asking if I can live with my issues, sometimes I think I can and at other times it totally drives me nuts. The thougbt of having another surgery scares me since my original urgeon refussed to do it due to the risk involved and the possibility that it may not help. As you can tell I am in a situation that is very hard for me, that's why I posted on here in hope of getting as much input as I can before I make my decission.

     
    Old 05-29-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
    bk845
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    Re: plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

    Oh ok. Thanks for the extra info. I was reading that as Dec 09 of this year. My mistake. So I totally understand what you are saying. It certainly is one of those decisions that is hard due to opposing opinions you will certainly receive from doctors. From experience, I can say that original surgeons will certainly discourage anything additional to their original surgery as they tend to be 'happy with their work' so to speak.

    I did a simple search on google for plate removal after ACDF and found quite a few different experiences from people that have had it done and you might be able to find some other opinions while you wait for responses here also. I'm sure there are some great opinions on this board for this scenario if you keep this thread bumped up for a little while longer. Almost every possible outcome has been experienced by someone here and it may just take a little time for a response. Good luck and a positive outcome to you!

     
    Old 05-29-2012, 07:14 PM   #8
    NJ Ldy
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    Re: plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

    No, I didn't have a new plate put in, the area was completely fused so there was no need for a new plate. The plate and screws are put in place so that the spine and the graft are together so they could fuse together. He did put a new plate at the sight of the new surgery. I'm confused as to why it would be a high risk surgery. Any surgery carries a risk, was your original fusion considered high risk? It's just a matter of going in and removing the plate and sewing you back up, much easier than having fusion surgery.

     
    Old 05-29-2012, 08:29 PM   #9
    luckylew
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    Re: plate removal after acdf c-5-6, 6-7. Decision needed!

    According to my original surgeon the risk comes from moving things around and the fact that scar tissue could make things worse. The second opinion Dr. said he would do it but agreed with my original surgeon that I needed to understand the risk.

     
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